Leonardo Bonucci maps out Juventus’ European plans, beginning with a look at Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw in Nyon.
“We are among the best eight clubs in Europe and now is the time to kick on and go as far as we can. Leicester have been the surprise package of the tournament so far but personally I would want to meet Barcelona next. Facing off against the side that beat us to the trophy two years ago would be a huge incentive for all of us. After their comeback against PSG, you would have to say that of the teams left, they have the most momentum and belief. Who to avoid? Bayern Munich. Wherever he goes Ancelotti finds a way of winning football matches, just like Guardiola. You would prefer to face a side like Bayern in a one-off final where anything can happen.”
Fine-tuning going forward:
“The technical quality – as well as the experience - of the squad rise over the past few years due to the high caliber of players that have been joined the club. Collectively, we’ve improved the way we manage games and react to certain situations but to really make that next step up, we need to do better when in possession, as the boss said yesterday. We played well against Porto overall but we were sloppy on the ball especially in the execution of the killer ball in the final third.”
New shape, same values:
“The individual qualities of our forward players have all come to the fore in this new system. A lot of us had never lined up like that before so we all had a point to prove to ourselves that we could adapt, which we have done. As a result, we have demonstrated that we have what it takes to beat anyone. I don’t think there is a winning formula in Europe. All we can do as players is be prepared to give our all and produce our best form when it matters most.”
Back in the fold:
“My exclusion in Porto had a positive effect on the squad and showed the unity, respect and strength that underpin this club. I made a mistake and I paid my dues, these things happen over the course of a season. Everyone experiences similar things in their everyday life whether that’s at work or at home, the most important thing is to acknowledge your error and look to learn from it."